Angela Merkel in Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria
Stepping up partnerships with West Africa
Strengthening Africa’s economy, offering young people better prospects, and minimising the causes of displacement – these were the issues that the Chancellor discussed during her three-day trip to Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria. Germany intends to support the West African states in their efforts to achieve this.
Three countries in three days. "Every country is different," said Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday at the close of her trip to Africa. But there is also much common ground. Every African country, she explained, has a clear vision of its own future. "I have seen that a young generation is making its demands known, a generation that wants a future in their own countries."
Nigeria – giving young people genuine prospects
About 60 per cent of Nigeria’s population of some 200 million are younger than 30. "Nigeria is a young country, a country with ambitions," said Angela Merkel following her meeting with Nigeria’s President, General Muhammadu Buhari. Criminal human trafficking and illegal migration can only be stamped out if there are genuine economic prospects for young people, said the Chancellor. Germany and Nigeria already have good economic relations, she declared. These are to be further developed in future.
Nigeria is facing many challenges with respect to security, said the Chancellor. "I would also like to say to Nigeria’s government that they have already achieved a good deal, especially in the fight against Boko Haram. Because we know that security and social development go hand in hand, we are very proud of the fact that next week we will be co-hosting the Lake Chad Conference, which will also look at the future of millions of people in the region."
Ghana – expanding development partnerships
In Ghana’s capital city, Accra, the Chancellor met with President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday morning. They discussed ways of developing the bilateral partnership in the economic sphere, working together to stem illegal migration, and strengthening civil society in Ghana.
Angela Merkel declared her conviction that the people in Ghana are willing and able to take an ambitious path such that they will no longer need assistance. "That is why we are working together on a partnership for reform, on the basis of the Compact with Africa," said the Chancellor.
Angela Merkel pledged support for the development of the country’s infrastructure, industrialisation and the development of rural regions. "Our development partnership is also geared to giving young people hope, and training," she declared.
Their talks also looked at ways of tackling illegal migration. Everything must be done "to prevent young people setting out in despair on this potentially fatal path and emigrating illegally to European countries. Instead they must be helped to identify opportunities at home or use the legal channels that exist between our countries, regarding visas, and places to study or train in Germany."
Senegal – successful development is in everybody’s interests
On Wednesday the Chancellor visited Senegal. In Dakar she spoke with President Macky Sall about his country’s economic development, as well as foreign-policy issues and regional cooperation. Senegal is taking on regional responsibility, said Angela Merkel, and has "opened a new chapter in its own development". Senegal is open to offers of investment, financing terms and conditions have been improved for private businesses, and there are many interesting approaches, continued the Chancellor.
"We know that your country is a young country. Every year another 300,000 young people join the labour market and seek opportunities. That is why successful development in your country is in both of our best interests," declared Angela Merkel.